The B.Friendly Fitness Coaches Poll – Powered by PODIUM

July 28, 20237 min read

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In the last few months, The Barbell Spin has solidified a process that has been occasionally used in previous Games seasons, polling selective CrossFit media to rank the top athletes in the sport. Inspired by various polls in NCAA College Sports, the idea emerged to create a new opportunity for polling individuals who possess extensive knowledge about the athletes and their competition – their coaches.

Much like The Barbell Spin is to the AP Media Poll in college basketball and football, The B. Friendly Fitness Coaches Poll is akin to the USA Today Coaches Poll.

With the understanding that we needed to start small and build this process correctly, we established some ground rules. These rules were put in place to respect the athletes and coaches while working within a relatively short timeframe and ensuring privacy and trust with the coaches:

1. Coaches must be associated with a 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games athlete, such as the coach officially designated by the athlete’s coaches’ band or their primary day-to-day coach for the season.

2. Each coach is allowed only one vote in each poll.

3. Coaches of male athletes receive the Men’s poll, and coaches of female athletes receive the Women’s poll. If a coach has both a male and female athlete in the Games Individual field, they participate in both polls.

4. The polling is completely anonymous to avoid linking a coach’s response directly back to them.

5. In order to safeguard the polling from possible outliers we removed a single highest and lowest ranking from the final results.

The coaches each submit their personal rankings for the top-25 male and/or female competitors participating at the Games. These individual rankings are later aggregated to create a unified ranking. Athletes obtain points based on their rankings, with 25 points for a 1st place vote, 24 points for 2nd place, and so forth, down to 1 point for 25th place.

We will not share directly who was involved. If the coaches choose to reveal their participation that is up to them. We aim to make this a known list in future iterations.

Over the last month, I reached out to the 80 individual athletes and their respective coaches to get their buy-in and go over the process laid out above. The response from coaches was positive, well-known coaches and camps were excited to be involved. Other coaches either did not respond or were hesitant to participate in the initial poll due to their focus on working with their athletes so close to the Games.

We received rankings from roughly 20 coaches for men and 20 coaches for women in the poll. 

Our hope is for this initiative to grow and eventually encompass a closer representation of all the Games athletes and their coaches. After the Games, we plan to expand the polling to include a larger group of coaches representing athletes within the Top 100 on the CrossFit Worldwide Ranking. This polling will be conducted on a recurring basis, both before, during, and after the season and major competitions.


1Laura Horvath438 (12)1 / 6
2Danielle Brandon396 (0)2 / 6
3Annie Thorisdottir387 (0)2 / 10
4Gabriela Migała386 (1)1 / 13
5Emma Lawson372 (0)2 / 8
6Emma Cary333 (0)3 / 15
7Alexis Raptis320 (0)4 / 19
8Alex Gazan311 (1)1 / 15
9Arielle Loewen294 (0)2 / 17
10Amanda Barnhart271 (0)6 / 17
11Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir258 (0)6 / 20
12Emma McQuaid200 (0)6 / 25
13Paige Powers198 (0)9 / 25
14Ellie Turner192 (0)8 / 22
15Emma Tall190 (0)6 / 24
16Emily Rolfe169 (0)9 / 23
17Jamie Simmonds167 (0)10 / NR
18Bethany Shadburne154 (0)9 / NR
19Karin Freyová137 (0)9 / NR
20Christine Kolenbrander111 (0)14 / 24
21Matilde Garnes98 (0)11 / NR
22Feeroozeh Saghafi73 (0)13 / NR
23Olivia Kerstetter64 (0)15 / NR
24Baylee Rayl50 (0)16 / NR
25Elisa Fuliano47 (0)17 / NR
25Manon Angonese47 (0)19 / NR

‘NR’ means Not Ranked within the Top 25. The count of number 1 overall rankings is in parenthesis next to the total points.

Other athletes receiving votes: Paige Semenza 35, Sydney Wells 23, Emily de Rooy 10, Rebecka Vitesson 9, Caroline Stanley 8, Ella Wunger 8, Seher Kaya 8, Kelly Baker 7, Abigail Domit 6, Victoria Campos 1

Outlier #1 votes that were removed: 1 from Laura Horvath, 1 from Danielle Brandon, 1 from Annie Thorisdottir, 1 from Gabriela Migała, 1 from Alex Gazan, 1 from Emily Rolfe.

Laura Horvath secures the top spot with 13 total out of the possible 20 #1 rankings, followed by Danielle Brandon in 2nd place, and a single point between 3rd Annie Thorisdottir and Gabi Migała. Laura, Gabi and Alex Gazan were the only athletes to receive #1 rankings once we adjusted for outliers.


1Patrick Vellner361 (4)1 / 3
2Justin Medeiros357 (5)1 / 4
3Roman Khrennikov338 (1)1 / 6
4Jeffrey Adler331 (2)1 / 8
5Jayson Hopper293 (0)2 / 10
6Brent Fikowski283 (0)4 / 11
7Lazar Đukić276 (0)5 / 13
8Dallin Pepper255 (0)6 / 17
9Samuel Kwant246 (0)6 / 20
10Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson225 (0)6 / 19
11Noah Ohlsen211 (0)9 / 16
12Samuel Cournoyer205 (0)7 / 23
13Jonne Koski178 (0)11 / 17
14Nick Mathew173 (0)10 / 22
15Chandler Smith149 (0)10 / 24
16Cole Greashaber127 (0)9 / 25
17Cole Sager108 (0)12 / 25
18Alex Vigneault102 (0)12 / 25
19Will Moorad100 (0)10 / NR
20Jay Crouch99 (0)14 / NR
21James Sprague64 (0)15 / NR
22Spencer Panchik57 (0)15 / NR
23Colten Mertens40 (0)18 / NR
24Henrik Haapalainen39 (0)16 / NR
24Luke Parker39 (0)16 / NR

‘NR’ means Not Ranked within the Top 25. The count of number 1 overall rankings is in parenthesis next to the total points.

Other athletes receiving votes: Jelle Hoste 35, Uldis Upenieks 27, Bayley Martin 20, Jack Farlow 20, Jake Douglas 10, Moritz Fiebig 6, Fabian Beneito 2, Arthur Semenov 1, Bronislaw Olenkowicz 1, Kalyan Souza 1

Outlier #1 votes that were removed: 1 from Patrick Vellner, 1 from Justin Medeiros, 1 from Roman Khrennikov, 1 from Jeffrey Adler, 1 from Jayson Hopper

At the time of this poll Ant Haynes was not one of the 40 athletes

Pat Vellner captures the top spot with 5 #1 rankings, edging out the defending 2x Champ Justin Medeiros. Roman Khrennikov secures the third position, just 9 points ahead of Jeff Adler. All 4 of these athletes received multiple #1 rankings.

**If you found this article by Mike Halpin informative and enjoyable to read please consider buying him a cup of coffee, all proceeds will go to him** 

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Mike Halpin

Similar to someone learning the CrossFit methodology for the first time, Mike learned CrossFit writing and analysis by working with a coach, Brian Friend, and just showing up daily to accomplish a new task and learn new skills. Mike’s main passion and focus in the space is on making the Sport more Known & Knowable, whether be shining a light on new or lesser known rules, giving athletes more spotlight in the WZA and Semifinals broadcasts or diving into the big data around the CrossFit season. Mike started CrossFit in the summer of 2020 and got his L1 in 2022 to help train his kids and family and be able to support his missionary work overseas. Photo credit: @damiantran12


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